Basildon hospital positive about treating people with learning difficulties

BASILDON Hospital is taking part in a campaign to help patients with learning disabilities have a better patient experience.

The East of England Active Liaison Nurse Network has put together a training video, with all the learning disability leads across the area, to help educate staff on five simple ways to make reasonable adjustments, which will help all patients but especially those with learning disabilities.

They include:

Encouraging staff to use a hospital communication book to make conversation easier and ensure the patient understands.

Being aware of electronic alerts on the computerised patient records system, to identify patients with learning disabilities and offer extra assistance.

Using the advice and expertise of the learning disabilities nurse advisor.

Using the hospital passport to learn more about the patient and making them feel more at ease.

Supporting family carers.

Jemma Sharples, the trust’s learning disability nurse advisor, explained: “Having an appointment at hospital for a test or check up is an anxious time for anyone.

But for someone with learning disabilities, who may also hate crowds, dealing with strangers, going to unfamiliar places etc, it can be utterly petrifying.

“The video is all about how staff can make simple, reasonable adjustments to the way they work in order to make the experience better and as stress-free as possible for our patients with learning disabilities.

“There is a saying, when you get it right for someone with learning disabilities, you get it right for everyone. It’s about being more aware of the way you work and making reasonable adjustments to help everyone.”

Jemma, began in post a year ago and says she has spent the past year building up community links, which in turn have generated more referrals.

She said: “I’m glad to say I’m getting more carers calling me up directly to let me know about upcoming appointments. I’ve really enjoyed the past year, but there are still lots of work to do.

“My next project is to look at the processes and pathways across the trust and provide support and education to the staff, to improve the patient experience.

“My ultimate goal is for patients with learning disabilities to choose Basildon Hospital for their care, safe in the knowledge they will have the best experience possible.”

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